Logbook, July 16-18

July 21, 2006

Here’s my logbook for this time. Mostly for my own future reference, but maybe someone else finds it useful too. The times indicate how long the break took (I marked each break) plus the cumulative distance up to the start of that break and average speed between the two breaks. I measured the distance by the car’s odometer and marked the time myself. It would be cool if the onboard computer had a mark and export function for this stuff so that it would automatically keep a logbook which I could then download through the logbook or something.

July 16, Tallinn, 7:27, 0 km

I set off early morning on Sunday because I anticipated there would be less traffic on Sunday and especially in the morning.

Estonia-Latvia border, 9:30-9:31, 179 km, 87 kph

The Estonian stage was pretty uneventful.

Latvia-Lithuania border, 12:27-12:30, 389 km, 72 kph

Latvia took longer than expected because there were major road repairs before Riga where you had to wait to be let through (only one side of the road was open), and also because it indicated that the road between Riga and Panevežys was under major repairs and jammed. It probably wasn’t so bad on a Sunday, but I still took a detour through Šiauliai that added about 100 km to the distance. And you need to be creative when driving and reading map in the Baltics, to understand that Šauli in Latvian actually means the Lithuanian Šiauliai. But the Lithuanian roads were good and empty.

Lunch and refueling break in Kaunas, 14:49-15:20, 612 km, 101 kph

Nothing interesting here :-) I could go pretty fast on the Lithuanian roads and use the highway between Klaipeda and Kaunas for the most part.

Border crossing to Poland, 16:30-16:40, 709 km, 83 kph

Just took a few minutes and there are joint checks on all the borders these days, so that only the border guard of the country you’re entering checks your documents.

Map-reading and toilet break near Treblinka, 19:40-19:45, 923 km, 71 kph

The times are according to the timezone of the country where the day started to be consistent, Polish time is actually one hour less.

Treblinka visit, 21:05-21:35, 990 km, 50 kph

Average speed is much less because I got a bit lost.

Overnight in Warszawa, 23:10, 1096 km, 67 kph

You would imagine that you were faster on the major road to Warszawa but traffic was really packed. I had no idea about where to stay so I pulled over when I just saw a “hotel” sign on the outskirts of Warszawa. None of the staff spoke anything except Polish, but using smiles, body language and my basic Russian knowledge I managed just fine.

July 17, set off from Warszawa, 8:45, 1096 km

Refuel, 10:16-10:26, 1155 km, 39 kph

Low average speed because of the joy of Warszawa navigation.

Lunch, 13:43-14:17, 1355 km, 61 kph

I got “beef stroganov” because it was the only thing I could understand in the Polish menu. And it was beefstroganov all right, but a bit more like Hungarian gulash, served as a thick soup with a bun. Still delicious. All the food I got in Poland was good :)

Cash withdrawal, 15:20-15:30, 1440 km, 81 kph

I figured I needed some local cash, and there was an Auchan shopping mall somewhere outside Katowice where I found an ATM. Roadside gas stations don’t have ATM-s.

Auschwitz II visit, 16:48-19:36, 1527 km, 67 kph

Hotel stay, 19:45, 1534 km, 47 kph

It was the “Glob” hotel in Oświęcim, not renovated recently but they spoke English and the rooms were clean. July 18, set off from the hotel, 8:39, 1534 km

Auschwitz I visit, 8:43-13:05, 1536 km, 30 kph

Lunch and refuel between Katowice and Wrocław, 14:44-15:21, 1680 km, 87 kph

Jędrzychowice Border crossing to Germany, 17:58-18:00, 1922 km, 92 kph

This was strange because the German border guard only looked at my ID card and didn’t bother with the car documents at all. The least relaxed of all controls, and yet I was entering the Schengen area. Also, I could switch over from “manual” map-reading to the onboard navigator now, and let it calculate the quickest route to my destination through the myriad of Autobahns and other roads.

Dinner and refueling outside Chemnitz, 19:06-19:38, 2083 km, 146 kph

Autobahns, yay :) I was unsure if I’d make it to my final destination Luxembourg that night, having entered Germany only at 18:00, but the traffic on Autobahns was pretty light and I could go at something like 180 kph at times, so I figured I’d give it a shot, since it would have been silly to stop over for the night with only a few hundred km to go.

More refueling outside Koblenz, 23:15-23:23, 2499 km, 115 kph

The speed dropped because the navigation system took me off Autobahns and through some funny roads between Giessen and Koblenz. But since it indicated this would take the least time, then why not.

Arrive at Luxembourg, 1:02, 2688 km, 115 kph

Average speed for the whole trip (as shown by the car computer – the above I calculated manually): 99 kph. This is largely because I could go faster in Germany, when exiting Poland it was something like 70 kph

Average fuel expenditure for the whole trip: 8.1 l/100 km. This looks pretty high for a 1.6 engine, but it was because I had my climate and CD or radio running at near-full power/volume for all the time, and also because going at high speeds (150 kph and above) doesn’t seem to be as economical as going around, say, 100 kph. This isn’t really an Autobahn-machine, although it performs fine in the city and smaller (slower) roads.